Farmers demand government assistance in eel farming to help increase export
Farmers of Satkhira are happy with farming eel, locally known as cuchia, which has brought profit to them.
They are farming the fish in coastal areas and earning huge amounts of money by exporting them.
Many farms have been built in the district’s Shyamnagar, Ashashuni and Kaliganj areas.
As a tasty fish, eel has a great demand in China, Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore.
However, the farmers said the export would get a boost if they received government assistance.
Farmer Abdul Bari Gazi of Kaliganj said he has been farming eel over the last five years. “There are thousands of eels in my farm.”
He said they buy eel at Tk60-70 per kg and fatten them at the farm.
“While collecting, an eel weighs 40-50 grams; and it gains weight up to 500-600 grams at the farm within three months,” Gazi said.
After fattening, eels are sold for Tk200-250 per kg, he said.
The fattening process continues throughout the year.
Gazi said he profits Tk8,000-10,000 a month from eel farming, and is seeking government assistance for further contribution to the export.
Another farmer Abdus Salam Morol said he started farming by taking a loan from a local private financial firm.
He said he collects eel from local fish enclosures and fattens them at the farm.
Morol also said he uses worms, little tilapia fish and prawns as eel food.
Two other farmers, Fuljan Bibi and Chanda Rani, said they earn Tk5,000-6,000 extra a month by farming eel.
Khulna based non-governmental organization (NGO) Unnayan Sangstha is providing training on eel farming and other assistance to people in Ashashuni upazila.
An official Tanvir Reza said 16 eel fattening farms were built in the upazila with their financial assistance.
He said several firms in Dhaka’s Uttara collect eels from these farms and export them to China, Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore.
Wholesaler Md Abdus Salam said they procure 20-25 metric tons of eels from farmers and supply them to Dhaka’s firms.
Satkhira Fisheries official Md Shahidul Islam said the district has huge prospects in exporting eels, after prawns and crabs.
He said they are planning to undertake a project on fattening eels in future.
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